If you didn't wake up this morning feeling truly refreshed, rejuvenated and rested, try these changes to your bedroom to make sure you get a really good night's sleep tonight! They're small investments with big payoff:
- Consider taking the TV out of the bedroom: Or, if you simply can't stand the thought of not watching movies in bed at night before you go to sleep, make sure your TV is on a timer and limit your pre-sleep watching to stuff that won't disturb your sleep (ie Glee rather than Walking Dead)
- Put away the clothes, make the bed in the morning and keep your nightstands clutter free: The calmer your bedroom, the better your sleep. Rethink your bedding so making the bed is easier, clear the nightstands of anything but the necessities (or consider a box to corral the messy stuff) and practice putting away the clothes.
- Break out the scents: Those candles you got as gifts, that cologne you love but never wear, those gift soaps you never use, can all be put to good use here. Burn a candle to gently scent your room in the few minutes while you're getting ready for bed, spray a few spritzes of perfume on your sheets when you make your bed in the morning, tuck the soaps in among your sheets in your closet.
- Put a glass of water by your bed: It's an easy way to add a glass to your daily eight and with a glass handy, you are less likely to need to get up in the middle of the night (which means more chances of falling right back to sleep if you wake up with a parched throat).
- Think quality not quantity: Toss the threadbare sheets and indulge in the good stuff. Nix the poly blends and go for all cotton. Try different textures until you find one you like. Sateen's smooth and soft, linen gets softer with each washing, cotton jersey's like wearing that favorite battered t-shirt to bed and flannel is warm and cozy.
- Consider a fan: Yes, even in the winter. Apparently we all sleep better when the temperature is a little cooler and, if like me, you live in a neighborhood that's a little noisy, the gentle whirr of the fan can block out the sounds that prevent a good night's sleep.
- Turn off the heat at night: Not only will you save a little energy, you won't wake up parched and sweating in the morning. If you're cold, try an extra blanket, a down mattress on top of your regular mattress (I swear, it's like sleeping in a cloud!), a hot water bottle, a hat or socks (which both work to keep your body heat in).
- Make sure you have enough pillows: While you don't want your bed to resemble that of a teeny bopper, two pillows per person is a good rule of thumb (I'm a big fan of IKEA's Pinje side sleeper pillows which are inexpensive enough that you can treat yourself to new pillows every year or so).
- Check your bedroom's lighting A light on either side of the bed and one across the room or overhead means you can change the lighting to suit your mood and your needs. If you can't sleep unless the room's pitch black, consider black out shades or curtains.
- Change your art: If the first thing you see when you open your eyes in the morning (or the last thing you see when you close your eyes at night) doesn't make you smile, replace it with something that does.
- Bring some of your weekly flowers in here: There's something about a few flowers that makes a room seem ultra-luxurious.
- Consider a rug: What do your feet touch when you get up in the morning? Something soft and cozy will make the transition to morning a little less painful.
Image: Bethany Nauert from Steven's 800 Square foot relocated Beach Cottage